Over the last couple of years I've driven past this corner a couple of times a week. The building's reader boards were misspelled and abbreviated, so I never gave the bar a second thought.
But a while back someone cleaned the place up and a new sign appeared calling the place "The Shack". I'm not sure if there are new owners or just a new face, but it caught my attention. When I saw that they were offering $9.99 prime rib on Friday nights I decided it was time to check it out.
Mister and I went last Friday and were pleased to see the parking lot was rather full, a good sign for any establishment. The Shack definitely has a bar atmosphere- booth seating, some tall tables, a dance floor, pool tables and gambling machines. We selected the last open booth and sat down.
I wasn't sure if we were supposed to order at the bar, so I was pleased when we received table side service. The waitress/bartender was friendly and informed us that we if we ordered in 3 minutes we could still get a happy hour appetizer for $2. Since we were starving we quickly ran through the typical bar food options and ordered the breaded mushrooms.
We settled on a couple of beers. They didn't offer a whole lot of local options but they had a standard assortment that would please most. We decided to share the prime rib which came with a baked potato, veggies and a green salad to start.
When our mushrooms came I was glad to see that even though the happy hour price was small, the portion wasn't. In our hunger we ate through half the basket before our salad arrived. The salad was iceberg lettuce with fresh mushrooms and tomatoes.
When the prime rib came I immediately commented that the baked potato came with real bacon on top, to which Mister looked at me and said "That's what you noticed?" Taking a second glance I realized that a slice of prime rib over an inch thick sat on more than half the plate! Thank goodness we decided to share!
The prime rib was a perfect medium rare although it could have used a bit more seasoning. A bit of added salt made it perfect. The baked potato came with bacon, green onions and butter and sour cream (although I noticed on the bill we were charged a dollar for saying "yes" when the waitress asked if we wanted everything on the potato). The veggies were a bit overcooked for my taste, but there was an assortment and they seemed freshly cooked not frozen.
The service was attentive, beers were cold, and although the food isn't fancy, for 13 dollars we had quite a meal. We were there around 6:30pm, early for a bar, which may have saved us from loud music and potentially over-watered bar patrons.
We've seen on their Facebook page that they do Cruise Ins on Thursday nights and Karaoke most evenings as well as a range of food and drink specials.
Next time I think we'll check out the Cruise In.
The Shack Bar & Grill
2865 Liberty St NE
Salem, OR 97301